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Report on Business Cannabis Professional Mon, Sept. 9: Vaping update; new processing licences; Organigram; Pure Sunfarms; Pure Global

Cannabis Professional’s daily roundup of industry news. View archive here.

The U.S. Centres for Disease Control said its investigation into vape-related lung illnesses has yet to “pinpoint a single product or substance common to all cases.” Health Canada issued three new processing licences on Friday. Seventeen new cultivation rooms have been licensed at Organigram’s Moncton facility. Meanwhile, Pure Sunfarms received a licence amendment allowing it to sell directly to provinces and Pure Global Cannabis’ licence was amended to allow oil sales.

– Mark Rendell

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No single product yet identified as cause of vape-related lung illness, says Centers for Disease Control

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday that the wave of lung illnesses related to vaping and e-cigarettes “are likely associated with a chemical exposure. However, it is too early to pinpoint a single product or substance common to all cases.”

The New York State Department of Health said on Thursday that it suspects that the additive Vitamin E Acetate may be the cause of vape and e-cigarette-related respiratory illnesses that have occurred across the U.S. in recent months.

“Our laboratory is working closely with our federal and state partners to identify the products or substances that may be causing the illnesses and have received more than 120 samples from the states so far. The FDA is analyzing these for a broad range of chemicals but no one substance, including Vitamin E acetate, has been identified in all of the samples tested,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless.

“Importantly, identifying any compounds present in the samples will be one piece of the puzzle but won’t necessarily answer questions about causality, which makes our ongoing work critical,” said Dr. Sharpless.

Health Canada issued a second warning on Friday, after the CDC release. The department confirmed that no cases of vape-related illnesses have been reported in Canada, but asked vape users to monitor their health and report any signs of illness immediately.

Health Canada issues three new processing licenses

Health Canada licensed three new processing companies on Friday:

Nextleaf Labs Ltd. (processing licence): The B.C.-based firm has a mobile extraction lab. “Our specialized extraction technicians travel to licensed cultivation sites and deliver our patented cannabis processing solutions right at your facility,” the company says on its website.

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GreenLeaf Productions Inc. (sales and processing licences): The Ontario firm will focus on producing CBD oils, distillates and isolates from industrial hemp. With a facility in St. Thomas, Ont. Greenleaf plans for focus on white label manufacturing as well as contract extraction.

“Our partnership[s]... would involve providing the purest phytocannabidiol and terpene oils from our extraction processing. Full spectrum yields with minimal solvent contamination provides CBD/THC by design for customization of high quality hemp and cannabis enhanced products,” the company says on its website.

2623942 Ontario Limited. d.b.a. Local Cannabinoid Company Inc. (processing licence): The company is based in Ontario.

Seventeen new cultivation rooms licensed at Organigram facility

Health Canada has licensed 17 additional cultivation rooms at Organigram Holdings Inc.'s Moncton facility, the company said Monday.

“The new cultivation rooms represent approximately 15,000 kg/yr of increased target production capacity. These are the first 17 rooms licensed within the Company’s Phase 4B expansion and now brings the Company’s Moncton facility to annualized licensed capacity to a target of 76,000 kg,” the company said.

Plants will be moved into the rooms immediately and the company said it “anticipates harvesting product from these new rooms by the end of November assuming normal cultivation timelines.”

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Organigram said “substantial construction” of its Phase 4B expansion is on schedule to be completed later this month.

Pure Sunfarms allowed to sell to provinces

Pure Sunfarms, the joint venture between Village Farms International, Inc. and Emerald Health Therapeutics Inc., said on Monday that its sales licence has been amended to allow sales directly to provincial wholesalers. Previously the company, which grows in a large greenhouse facility in Delta, B.C., was only allowed to sell wholesale to other licensed producers.

“Pure Sunfarms has supply agreements in place with the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation… and the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch and expects to begin shipping Pure Sunfarms-branded products to both the OCRC and BCLDB in the coming weeks,” the company said.

Pure Sunfarms reported revenue of $32.4-million in its most recent quarter.

Pure Global’s licence amended to allow oil sales

Pure Global Cannabis Inc., an early-stage LP based in Brampton, Ont., said on Monday that its licence has been amended to allow for the sale of cannabis oil products.

“Oils and post-derivatives will be deployed throughout the Company's brand ecosystem, especially as edibles and post-derivative products regulations come into being this fall,” the company said.

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It added that it “has the capacity to purify, formulate, and process 10 liters of oil per day, 10,000 capsules per hour, 10,000 vape cartridges per hour, and 2,000 oils bottles per hour.”

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